In Rhodesia white voters went to the polls on Tuesday (10 April) in the last political election they will dominate in the breakaway British colony.
In Rhodesia white voters went to the polls on Tuesday (10 April) in the last political election they will dominate in the breakaway British colony. The results will produce a "government of national unity" in which a quarter of the cabinet seats will be allocated to whites, outnumbered in the electorate by twenty to one, and a parliament in which whites will hold twenty-eight percent of the seats.
SYNOPSIS: Prime Minister Ian Smith's interim government is going to considerable lengths to protect voters against attacks from Patriotic Front guerrillas who have vowed to wreck the elections. Men like reservist Malcolm Campbell, seen here with his wife at home in Salisbury, will be spending a month in army service to help deal with the threatened guerrilla offensive.
Malcolm Campbell is one among many thousands of Rhodesian men who are saying goodbye to their families during the critical period in the country's history. The guerrillas loyal to exiled nationalist leaders Robert Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo have threatened to bring the bush war into the cities at polling time.
The protection of vital urban installations will be the responsibility of reservists known in Rhodesia as "Grandad's army".
Many of them are aged between fifty and sixty and have not been in uniform since World War Two.
After passing a medical test comes the business of learning to handle modern weapons. Their training completed, they become part of the ninety-thousand men-at-arms in Rhodesia in April.
Amid this frenzy of military activity black voters will be going to the polls on Tuesday (17 April) to make their choice for the twenty-two seats reserved for them in the hundred-member parliament. The election is being run on a one-man one vote system for blacks and one-man, two votes for whites -- who are also allowed to vote for black seats.
And although the target may be black majority rule, for the present the emphasis in one intense preparations for a full scale military alert.